The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators
In: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data
The Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Program at the U.S. Census Bureau, with the support of several national research agencies, has built a set of infrastructure files using administrative data provided by state agencies, enhanced with information from other administrative data sources, demographic and economic (business) surveys and censuses. The LEHD Infrastructure Files provide a detailed and comprehensive picture of workers, employers, and their interaction in the U.S. economy. Beginning in 2003 and building on this infrastructure, the Census Bureau has published the Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI), a new collection of data series that offers unprecedented detail on the local dynamics of labor markets. Despite the fine detail, confidentiality is maintained due to the application of state-of-the-art confidentiality protection methods. This article describes how the input files are compiled and combined to create the infrastructure files. We describe the multiple imputation methods used to impute in missing data and the statistical matching techniques used to combine and edit data when a direct identifier match requires improvement. Both of these innovations are crucial to the success of the final product. Finally, we pay special attention to the details of the confidentiality protection system used to protect the identity and micro data values of the underlying entities used to form the published estimates. We provide a brief description of public-use and restricted-access data files with pointers to further documentation for researchers interested in using these data.
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